Stories of reconstruction, revival and renewal


The story

Cleaning and restoring a ‘clock watch’ movement is a challenging task – and in this instance, once we had opened up the watch, we carefully removed all levers and springs in order to make necessary repairs. This kind of watch is ‘complicated’ and can be operated on demand or strike by itself - the hours and double hit for quarters. This would be repeated on every hour and quarter throughout the day. There are also two switches; one is to turn it to silent and the other is for the petite sonnerie setting which will still strike on each quarter - but this time, omit the hours. There are 19 lever springs, five racks, nine rotating levers, 22 various levers, seven lever stops and 38 screws.

All levers and springs have been removed, ready for cleaning.

Two barrels are required; the larger one is for the repeating sonnerie and the other one is for time.

These comprise all the clock watch mechanism parts.

Under the three-quarter plate are parts for the going train and the clock watch train, with hammers.

The  lowest levers and springs are installed, ready for the next section to go over the top.

The hour rack has 12 teeth, and sits on a round wheel with trigger effect. When released, this trigger (or lever) is held away from the ratchet teeth and allows racks to release. These will only rotate as far as the given hour would allow.

The minute cam has four arms. Each arm has a miniature step to spiral down to the base in 14 steps, to represent each minute or each quarter. You can also see four arms cross at the base of the minute cam, which will push the lever over on each quarter. The minute wheel has a stop underneath to prevent the quarters from working at the 12 o’clock position only.

This has 14 teeth and will lift via the finger piece against the given minute. Once lifted, this will connect the hammers and strike the gongs.

On this image, there are two sets of pointed teeth which represent each quarter.  They will be lifted at split-second intervals to sound out a double hit with different-sounding tone, because both hammers are used.

This lever sets the clock watch sonnerie setting from full to petite setting.

The lever is in the correct place in the mechanism.


Now you can see and hear the clock watch strike by itself.

This is an image of the balance wheel with double overcoil, probably made by Houriet. It is used on high-quality watches, and is designed in a spherical shape to produce force, which is distributed closest to the theatrical ideal.

Restoration case studies





What our customers had to say

"Super to see you and thank you for handing over my father’s Rolex. A great deal of wonderful work has gone into it. It looks utterly super and authentic. I am delighted and I know he will be thrilled when he gets it back on Christmas morning. Thank you for all your efforts and please pass on my appreciation to the workshop who have done a tip top job."


What our customers had to say

"I am so pleased with my watch. I have spoken to many people about the first-rate work of SHWR and will continue to promote you to my friends."

Jane Martin

What our customers had to say

"All in all, the refurbishment has been beyond my own expectations, and allows long term continued use of this almost fifty year old watch gifted by my mother and father.May I personally thank you for your work to refurbish this watch which is very much appreciated."


What our customers had to say

"My wife brought the watch back today and It's really fantastic to see it working like new and looking like new. I really appreciate that you didn't polish the housing too much and it  has a real feel of authenticity about it with the combination of refurbished internals and original casing.  I'm really delighted with the result, it's great to have something from nearly 100 years ago to hold and describe for the next generation"


What our customers had to say

Just to say how pleased I am to have my watch back and that it is keeping perfect time for the first time since I bought it some 68 years ago.  My congratulations to the team who have given it the ability to keep working accurately for more years. Thank you all.

Brian Hugo

What our customers had to say

Watch arrived safely this morning thank you and it looks stunning just have to have it adjusted strap wise. Thank you for your wonderful service i shall certainly use you guys again and reccomend you.

Anthony Haire

What our customers had to say

I collected the watch on 11 August, as you know.  It is a pleasure to have it back in full working order and looking as good as new.  How it came to be so damaged, I do not know.  The crystal and dial are fresh and clean in striking contrast to their previous condition.  The watch was my grandfather’s silver wedding anniversary present to my grandmother.  It was with her when she and my grandfather were deported from Guernsey to Germany in 1943 and returned with her to Guernsey in 1945.  The watch will pass to my granddaughter in a few years’ time.Please pass my thanks and appreciation for his work to the watchmaker.

Peter Boon